Talk:Anglo-Saxon weaponry

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Further reading section[edit]

I don't want dive in and start editing an article when it's in the process of GA review, but would someone with a particular interest in this article care to note that the first item in the 'Further reading' section is wrongly referenced?

"Bone, Peter (1989). Development of Anglo-Saxon Swords from the Fifth to the Eleventh Century. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph" - is not a book or monograph - it's a paper with that title contained in the volume edited by Sonia Chadwick Hawkes Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England that is referred to in notes 61 and 62 (it's on pp 63 to 70 of that volume) - and by the way, her name was "Hawkes", not "Hawke" as in the notes.

John O'London (talk) 09:16, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Anglo-Saxon weaponry/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Hchc2009 (talk · contribs) 06:24, 17 August 2016 (UTC)


I'll read through properly later on today and review. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:24, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

I've worked through it. I've got some general points, based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the period - please shout if you think I'm misunderstanding the literature, I won't be offended! I've also got some minor tactical points. I enjoyed reading the article - a lot of work's clearly gone into it. Just about to put on hold. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:43, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Well-written:

(a) the prose is clear and concise, respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct;

  • It would be well worth defining who the Anglo-Saxons were more clearly - e.g. are we talking about those in England, the cultural groups (including those in Northern Europe during the migratory period etc.) Similarly, we talk about the "early" and "later" periods, but don't really explain when they are. I was also surprised not to see changes during the Migration or Viking periods drawn out explicitly.
  • Clarity where information is given. At the moment, for example, we don't introduce the term ring-sword when we discuss ring-pommels, but rather several sections below; we inform the reader that it was common for swords to be pattern-welded in the early period, but uncommon in the later period, not in the sword section but under knives.
  • "Much archaeological evidence exists for weaponry from the early Anglo-Saxon period because of the widespread inclusion of weapons as grave goods." - My understanding is that grave goods are very limited once Christianity becomes established in the mid-period; if I'm right, it might be worth stating something like this to explain the shift away from weapons being left in graves.
  • "M. Swanton categorized these variations into four main groups, each with its own sub-groups." - would be worth explaining, at least in outline, what the four main groups were.
  • Swords. Worth noting that rich Anglo-Saxons, at least in the early period, might have multiple swords? (I think 12 is mentioned in one work)
  • " Spears were the most common weapon, and were used for piercing and throwing (in which case the spear would be called a javelin)." - as written, this gives the impression that the Anglo-Saxons called it a javelin, which presumably isn't correct.
  • "archaeological, textual, and illustrative" - worth spelling out for a casual reader what "illustrative" means? (I'm assuming contemporary art?)
  • "Pollington proposed..." - the article is inconsistent in how it introduces commentary; I'd advice going with the example you use earlier in the paragraph, "According to historian Guy Halsall...", which makes it clear who the person is. Ditto later commentators.
  • "In Old English (OE)" - do you actually use the OE abbreviation later in the article? If not, worth removing here.
  • ""the most symbolically important weapon" " - worth spelling out here what the sword was a symbol of.
  • "which was decorated with unique inlaid gold" - in what way is the inlaid gold unique? Or do we mean that this example is unique?
  • "Therefore, it has been suggested that the decoration produced by pattern-welding..." - suggested by who?
  • "A bead of glass, amber, crystal, or meerschaum" - could any of these be linked?
  • "Ownership of a seax indicated the freedom of the owner. " - does this mean that non-free individuals couldn't carry a knife? I ask because we then say "Apparently, most Anglo-Saxon men and women carried knives to prepare food and perform other domestic activities." - do we know how non-free labour undertook these tasks?
  • "It was later reintroduced in the eighth and ninth centuries" - does this mean reintroduced to Anglo-Saxon England? Or that just the Vikings used them?
  • "The carinated boss was the most common type" - what is a carinated boss?
  • " helmets were never common at any in the Anglo-Saxon England" - there's a word missing here

(b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.

  • Some duplicated links - worth running through the "Highlight Duplicate Link" tool if you've got it activated.

Factually accurate and verifiable:

(a) it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout;

  • Not a GA requirement, but the formatting of the citations is inconsistent in places - e.g. fn 53, 61, 62 etc. have long citations, as opposed to the short versions used elsewhere.
  • Again minor, but the further reading references don't need the "ref=harv" bit in them - it will through up an error message on some views.
  • Worth noting the comment on the article talk page about one of the sources...

(b) it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;

(c) it contains no original research.

  • None found (although note the comment below on the caption). Hchc2009 (talk) 07:43, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Broad in its coverage:

(a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic;

  • The role of weapons in political rituals. This includes both the significance of the giving of swords, the pommel, the interpretation of ring-swords etc. Hilda Davidson talks a bit about this in "The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England: Its Archaeology and Literature" for example. Apparently, Dickinson and Harke's "Early Anglo-Saxon Shields" makes a similar argument around the social status of shields.

(b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).

Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.

  • I wonder if a slightly broader range of sources would help here.
  • Pattern-welding on swords. Hilda Davidson's description here may help.
  • Pattern-welding on spear heads. Ryan Lavelle notes in "Alfred's Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare" that many Anglo-Sxon spear heads were pattern welded in the Viking period
  • Smiths and manufacture. David Hinton's chapter on this in Donald Scragg's edited volume, "Textual and Material Culture in Anglo-Saxon England"
  • The literature seems to be suggesting that Stephenson's "The Anglo-Saxon Shield" is a critical volume on this bit of the article (NB: not having read it myself, I can't be sure though)

Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.

Illustrated, if possible, by images:

(a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content;

(b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.

  • File:Reenactor with ango.jpg. The caption, "A re-enactor in Austria dressed and armed in a manner likely similar to Anglo-Saxon soldiers, with shield and angon." needs a reference. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:49, 17 August 2016 (UTC)